Many of today’s biggest beauty trends, from contouring to cut creases, originated in drag culture before crossing over into the mainstream. And the drag community is finally getting the recognition it deserves for its boundary-pushing skills – helped in part by the global phenomenon that is RuPaul’s Drag Race.
To supercharge our own beauty routines, we spoke to one of the show’s newest stars, Tayce from Drag Race UK series two, AKA the lip-sync assassin, to discover what gets her runway-ready.
Put your skin first
For this queen, skincare is more important than make-up. ‘You can’t build a house on a rocky foundation. I spend at least half an hour in the morning and before bed on my skincare routine. I get a cleanse on in the shower – I love a Glamglow cleanser – and after my shower, I use a toner. If I have time, I do about three different face masks. Then I do my face oils, my serums, my moisturiser with a little CBD oil mixed in. And I’m good to go.
‘It’s all about good skin. I love make-up, don’t get me wrong, but I think there’s a lot to be said – as a drag queen especially – for going out and looking a million bucks with hardly any make-up on.’
Look after your smile
Tayce’s day can start anywhere between 9am and midday ‘depending on what happens the night before’. But it always starts the same way. ‘The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a massive gulp of water,’ she says. ‘Then I brush my teeth and I’m good to tackle the day. I’ve been using the Colgate Elixir White Restore toothpaste, which contains a blend of whitening minerals to tackle stains, and my teeth are looking amazing. I also love the Colgate Elixir Cool Detox toothpaste with activated charcoal and coconut extract. It gives your mouth a really intense freshness. It’s very important to me to feel confident in my smile.’
The new Colgate Elixir toothpaste range is inspired by beauty ingredients. The third product in the collection is Colgate Elixir Gum Booster, which contains the skincare favourite hyaluronic acid, as well as dual-fluoride technology, to help keep gums healthy. The toothpastes also come in stylish, sink-worthy (and recyclable) packaging, fitting seamlessly into your beauty kit.
Always use a primer
‘After you’ve let your moisturiser soak in, you need a good primer for a flawless base. I like Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer,’ Tayce explains. Primer creates a smooth canvas for your make-up and keeps it fresh all day (and night). ‘After that, I apply a good-quality foundation and set it with powder. It really comes down to using the best products.'
If you've got a long night ahead of you 'gigging or being a mess at Freedom' Tayce also recommends baking — the technique of applying a thick layer of loose translucent setting powder with a damp make-up sponge and letting it sit on the skin for 10 minutes, so your body heat sets your foundation and concealer underneath. 'Make sure you bake under your eyes, down the sides of your nose, your cheeks, your forehead, and it's not going to move.'
Turn up your highlighter
‘When I’m performing, I always add a lot of highlighter,’ says Tacye. ‘I like to make sure my cheekbones can be seen from Mars. Just apply a little with the brush first, then use some setting spray so it’s all dewy. Let it dry down a bit, but not completely. Next, take the brush that you used to apply the highlighter and go over those same areas again, brushing it around your forehead, over your cheeks, the Cupid’s bow, down the nose, wherever you want to put it. Your highlighter will pop because it’s on a wet base. It holds the product better.’
Serve a bold lip
‘If you’re doing soft skin and a natural eye, give them a really bold, glossy red lip,’ suggests Tayce. It's the perfect way to show off a confident white smile. ‘I like to take the lip line out just a tiny bit on the edges of the upper lip, and then bring it up just above my natural lip line in the centre, where the Cupid’s bow is. It gives a kind of Bratz Doll effect and it’s just a game-changer. I recommend getting a good lip liner – I like a MAC liner – and then you want a really bold red lipstick. Finish with a gloss on top and you’re ready.’
Make those lashes last
If you’re having trouble sticking on false lashes, Tayce has this tried and tested method: ‘Put the glue on the lash line, attach the lash to your eye, and then take it off. Let both the glue on your lash line and on the lash dry for a second or two, and then pop it back on. I promise you, it will stay right where it needs to be.
‘Then I like a glossy pigment on the eye – something multidimensional, so it catches the light when you move. And a smoky wing. I just love a smoky wing.’
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